NJPW heads to London today as Royal Quest takes place at the Copper Box Arena.
The event will be headlined by Kazuchika Okada and Minoru Suzuki facing off for Okada's IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In the semi-main, Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. defends his title against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
After turning heel and joining the Bullet Club, KENTA will challenge for Tomohiro Ishii's NEVER Openweight Championship.
The IWGP Tag Team titles will also be on the line today, with Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) defending against Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher). Aussie Open got the title shot by winning RevPro's Road to Royal Quest tournament.
Here's the rest of the card for Royal Quest: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA vs. Jay White & Chase Owens, Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles vs. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo, Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Hikuleo, and Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs. Rocky Romero, SHO & YOH.
Royal Quest will be available as a live iPPV via Fite TV. It will be uploaded to New Japan World in September.
Our live coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.
SHO, YOH & ROCKY ROMERO DEFEATED RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, REN NARITA & SHOTA UMINO
Major streaming issues on display here in the opener. There was no English announcer audio. The video feed had major lag issues as well.
The crowd was on fire. Loud "Shooter" chants for Umino.
Umino and YOH started out. SHO jumped in for a double team, and Taguchi entered to even the odds. Taguchi tried some hip attacks, but missed, and Romero took over on Umino.
Umino managed a tag to Taguchi, who ran wild with hip attacks and a pescado.
Romero hit a rewind kick on Umino. Umino hit a shotgun dropkick on YOH. SHO hit a bridging German on Narita for a close nearfall.
SHO won with a lungblower on Narita. The match looked like a hot opener, from what we could see of it.
KOTA IBUSHI & JUICE ROBINSON DEFEATED YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HIKULEO
Juice and Ibushi ran wild at the outset. Yujiro crotched Juice on the top rope, and Hikuleo used a lariat on Ibushi, and the tide turned in favor of Bullet Club.
Hikuleo and Yujiro cut the ring in half, and worked over Ibushi. Juice got a hot tag, He hit a leg lariat and a plancha. Yujiro cut him off, then hit a fisherman's suplex for a two count.
Juice made a comeback. He hit a Juice Box, then tagged Ibushi. Yujiro made a simultaneous tag to Hikuleo, who cut off Ibushi with a lariat.
Ibushi got a nearfall off a move that the video feed cut out for. Hikuleo hit a falcon arrow for a nearfall on Ibushi, as Juice broke up the pinfall with a cannonball.
Juice and Yujiro brawled to the outside, leaving Hikuleo and Ibushi the legal men. Ibushi hit a bomaye knee strike, then followed with the Kamigoye for the pin.
WILL OSPREAY & ROBBIE EAGLES DEFEATED EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI
This was excellent. Eagles and Ospreay were on a mission to steal the show. They hit some tandem offense at the opening bell. Ospreay teased a dive, but posed instead. Eagles hit a big tope con giro.
ELP cut off Eagles. He connected with a dropkick, then a quebrada, earning a nearfall. Eagles made his own comeback. He teased Turbo Backpack, but had to settle for a leg sweep and a forearm shot instead.
Ospreay got a hot tag. He hit a moonsault off the post to Ishimori, then hit ELP with Pip Pip Cheerio for a two count.
Ospreay tried for Storm Breaker, but ELP blocked. ELP tried for an airplane spin driver, but Ospreay blocked. They did a double down, then both tagged out.
Eagles hit a springboard dropkick to Ishimori's legs. Ishimori hit a handspring kick, then a sliding German. Ishimori hit a moonsault for a nearfall, with Ospreay making the save for Eagles.
The match broke down, and all four men jumped in.
Eagles hit Turbo Backpack for a nearfall on ELP. Ospreay hit ELP with an Oscutter. Ospreay and Eagles hit a tandem Spanish Fly off the top rope on Ishimori, and Ospreay got the pin.
Ospreay cut a promo after the match. He issued a challenge to ELP and Ishimori to defend their IWGP Jr. Heavyweight tag titles against Ospreay and Eagles.
TETSUYA NAITO & SANADA DEFEATED JAY WHITE & CHASE OWENS
This was a house show-quality match. Lots of fun, but worked at half-speed.
White and Naito teased locking up, but neither man seemed too eager to do so. White begged off, then tagged out. Owens demanded that Naito tag SANADA, and Naito obliged.
SANADA and Owens did some comedy. SANADA tried for the paradise lock on Owens, but White jumped in to cut him off. While Owens worked over SANADA inside, White choked Naito with a t-shirt on the floor.
White and Owens used some quick tags as they worked over SANADA. SANADA hit White with a vertical suplex, then managed to tag Naito.
Naito hit a back elbow, then used a series of neckbreakers for a two count. Naito tried for Gloria, but White blocked it with a flatliner. White hit a Blade Buster for a two count.
The video feed cut out here for about a minute. When it returned, SANADA had Owens in the paradise lock. SANADA broke the hold with a dropkick.
Owens and White doubled up on SANADA. Owens hit a running knee for a nearfall, as Naito made the save. White and Naito brawled outside.
SANADA went for Skull End, but Owens blocked it, then used an inside cradle for a nearfall. Owens teased a package piledriver, but SANADA blocked it.
While Naito held White at bay on the floor, SANADA used Skull End on Owens, and Owens tapped out.
After the match, SANADA refused to break the hold. White ran in and attacked SANADA. Naito tried to save, but White put the boots to him as well.
Gedo passed White a chair. White hit SANADA with the chair, then used it on Naito. He tried for a second chair shot to Naito, but Naito avoided it. Naito then hit Destino on White, then covered him for a visual pinfall.
IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA DEFEATED MARK DAVIS & KYLE FLETCHER TO RETAIN THE TITLES
A good match here. Aussie Open is a great team, and GOD threw a few new wrinkles in to what has become their very patterned match layout.
Tonga and Loa used a sneak attack before the bell. Aussie Open came back quickly. Davis hit Loa with a senton for a two count. Fletcher got a tag. He hit the ropes, and ran right into a kendo stick shot from Jado on the floor.
Loa worked over Fletcher with a shoulder block, a dropkick, a spear, and a delayed jackhammer. Tonga got a tag, and hit a slingshot elbow to the gut. Loa got a quick tag and hit a senton for a nearfall.
Loa missed a legdrop, then tagged Tonga. Fletcher finally managed a tag to Davis, who hit a series of clotheslines to both Tonga and Loa. GOD rolled outside to regroup, and Fletcher nailed both with a suicide dive.
All four jumped in as the match broke down. Aussie Open hit a tandem Alabama slam, and Fletcher covered Tonga for a nearfall. Jado hit Davis with the kendo stick. Davis chased Jado, and got laid out on the floor by Loa.
Back inside, Tonga and Loa hit top rope splashes. Tonga covered for a nearfall. GOD teased a super powerbomb, but Davis made the save for Fletcher. Fletcher hit a flip dive to the floor, wiping out Loa.
Aussie Open tried for a Fidget Spinner, but Tonga cut them off. Loa hit Apeshit on Davis, then GOD hit the super powerbomb on Fletcher. Tonga covered Fletcher for the pin.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: KENTA DEFEATED TOMOHIRO ISHII TO WIN THE TITLE
They were having a good match. A little slow, but still good. Then KENTA appeared to get knocked out after landing on his head on a suplex from Ishii, and this totally fell apart.
They began with a lockup, then traded strikes. Ishii dropped KENTA with a shoulder block. They continued to trade strikes in the corner. KENTA snapped Ishii's neck over the top rope, then hit a clothesline off the top rope.
KENTA hit a series of kicks, slowly working Ishii over. Ishii came back with a powerslam, then hit a series of punch and chop combinations in the corner. They traded strikes in the center of the ring. KENTA got the best of the exchange, then hit a Shibata dropkick in the corner.
Ishii rolled to the ropes to escape KENTA's onslaught, but KENTA stomped on his head, then hit a draping DDT. KENTA teased a GTS. Ishii fired up, and started no-selling. He hit KENTA with a series of headbutts, then hit a German.
KENTA may have landed on his head on the German. They tried to do a spot, but KENTA sort of just collapsed to the mat. KENTA appeared to be out on his feet, either from the suplex, or one of the headbutts.
Ishii hit a short headbutt that appeared to connect for real, then a series of short headbutts. Ishii hit a series of slaps to the face, but KENTA hit a lariat into a double down.
KENTA hit a double stomp off the top for a two count. He tried for a GTS, but Ishii blocked it. Ishii went for a brainbuster. KENTA was supposed to reverse it, but they fell on top of each other in a heap.
They sat Shibata-style in the center of the ring, trading slaps. KENTA hit a PK. Ishii came back with a clothesline. He covered. KENTA was supposed to kick out, but he was late in doing so, and the referee held up his count to cover for it.
The referee took a bump. Tanga and Loa ran in. Ishii hit a suplex on Loa, then knocked Tonga off the apron.
Ishii hit KENTA with a vertical drop brainbuster. Tonga and Loa pulled the referee out of the ring before he could count to three. Loa hit a powerslam on Ishii. Tonga and Loa hit Ishii with a Magic Killer, then revived the referee.
KENTA covered, but Ishii kicked out at two. KENTA used a sleeper. They exchanged strikes. KENTA dropped Ishii with a right hand to the side of the neck, picking up a nearfall.
KENTA called for the GTS. He hit the move, and got the pin.
RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: HIROSHI TANAHASHI DEFEATED ZACK SABRE JR. TO WIN THE TITLE
My personal take on these two is that their chemistry is hit-and-miss. This match didn't click with me, and was not one of their more memorable encounters. The crowd was super hot for the match, and popped big for the title change, so my opinion may be in the minority here.
They grappled on the mat for the first five minutes of the bout. Tanahashi tried for a somersault senton, but Sabre rolled out of the way. Sabre stomped on Tana's right arm, then went after the left arm.
Tanahashi came back with a dropkick to the left leg. He followed up with a dropkick in the corner. Sabre applied a cobra twist, which Tana reversed into a backslide for a nearfall. They traded quick cradles for nearfalls at the ten minute mark.
Sabre went for a PK, but Tana caught it, then hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi went for a cloverleaf, but Sabre blocked it, applied a triangle, then slipped to an armbar attempt. Tana blocked the armbar and went back to the cloverleaf attempt, but Sabre turned it into a small package for a two count.
Sabre used an octopus hold, but Tana reached the ropes. Tana blocked a Zack Driver, but Sabre answered with a PK. Sabre again tried for a Zack Driver, but Tana reversed into Twist and Shout. Tana then used a slingblade for a two count.
Tana went for High Fly Flow, but Sabre got his knees up. Sabre applied a triangle. Sabre then pinned one of Tana's arms to the mat, while wrenching back on the other.
Tana countered the hold with an inverted dragon screw. Tana tried for a dragon suplex, but Sabre blocked it, then dropped down into a European clutch for a nearfall.
They exchanged strikes. Sabre went for a backslide, but Tana turned it into a slingblade. Tana hit a dragon suplex for a nearfall. Tana hit High Fly Flow, and got the pin.
IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: KAZUCHIKA OKADA DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI TO RETAIN THE TITLE
This was a work of art. Suzuki's facial expressions were incredible. The psychology was nothing short of brilliant. I can't say enough good things about this match.
Suzuki got a quick strike in the corner off the break on the opening lockup. They traded knuckle locks and hammerlocks. Suzuki worked over Okada's left arm, but Okada got a single-leg takedown, then worked a heel hook. Suzuki countered the hold with a triangle, and Okada rolled to the ropes for a break.
They exchanged strikes in the center of the ring. Okada hit a dropkick to the back of a seated Suzuki. Suzuki came back by applying an armbar over the ropes. They brawled around ringside. Suzuki teased a chair shot, but Okada blocked it.
They fought to the ramp. Okada teased a tombstone, but Suzuki blocked it. Suzuki hit a Gotch-style piledriver on the ramp. Suzuki then hit a running PK . Back inside, Suzuki ate a series of forearms from Okada. He sold them by laughing, which the crowd loved.
Suzuki dropped Okada with a forearm, then used an ankle lock. Suzuki transitioned to a modified STF, but Okada reached the ropes. Suzuki hit a series of PKs, but Okada no-sold them. Okada hit a running back elbow.
Okada hit a DDT for a two count. Suzuki rolled to the floor, trying to stop Okada's momentum. Okada hit a plancha. Okada teased an air raid crash, but Suzuki blocked it. Suzuki hit a running boot in the corner, then hit a PK for a two count.
Suzuki used a Fujiwara armbar, but Okada rolled to the ropes for the rope break. Suzuki hit a series of kicks to the right arm of Okada. Suzuki hit some short knee strikes, then connected on a running boot for a two count.
Suzuki went for a Gotch-style piledriver, but Okada blocked it, and backdropped out. Okada hit a diving uppercut forearm, into a double down.
Okada hit a shotgun dropkick, then used a DVD for a nearfall. Okada hit a scoop slam, then a top rope elbow. Okada hit his Rainmaker pose, and Suzuki responded with a slap to the face.
They exchanged strikes. The crowd went nuts for this battle of forearm blows. Suzuki scored a knockdown off a hard shot to the side of the neck, then followed with a shot to the back of the neck.
Okada reversed a Gotch-style piledriver attempt into an air raid crash. From their knees, they exchanged forearm strikes. They continued to trade while standing. Suzuki hit a series of headbutts. He whipped Okada into the ropes, and Okada rebounded with a dropkick.
Okada used a rear naked choke. He gave up the hold, then hit a series of strikes. Okada hit the ropes, but ran right into a dropkick from Suzuki. Suzuki then used a rear naked choke. Okada forced a rope break.
Suzuki went right back to the choke. He used the choke to take Okada down, and mounted his back. The crowd started dueling chants.
Okada slipped out of the choke, and hit a Rainmaker. They went into a double down, but Okada kept hold of Suzuki's right arm.
Okada hit a second Rainmaker. He went for a third, but Suzuki elbowed out. Suzuki blocked a spinning Rainmaker with a right hand, dropping Okada.
Suzuki hit a series of combinations. Okada dropped to the mat, and Suzuki posed.
Suzuki used a rear naked choke. He transitioned to a Gotch-style piledriver attempt. Okada blocked it, then hit a dropkick to the back.
Okada hit another dropkick. He went for a Rainmaker, but Suzuki blocked it. Suzuki went for a piledriver, but Okada blocked. Suzuki went for a PK, but Okada caught him.
Okada hit a tombstone, then followed with a Rainmaker for the pin.
Okada closed the show with a promo. He said the next time he comes back to London, he wil still be IWGP champion.